January 28 1993
Doctor retracts view on child's sex abuse
retracted her view that a complainant in the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre
inquiry had been abused, the District Court was told yesterday.
Dr Pamela Lyttle said she had examined the complainant in September 1992, and
concluded the child gave the appearance of having been penetrated by a blunt
Photographs were taken, but after they were lost by Christchurch Hospital
the child was called back for re-examination.
Dr Lyttle said due to using a different method of examination, she became
satisfied the irregularity detected earlier was within the range of normality.
She was giving evidence during a preliminary hearing to decide if five former
creche workers -accused of sexually abusing some children in their care will
be sent for trial.
Peter Hugh McGregor Ellis, aged 34, faces 45 indecency charges. Gaye Jocelyn
Davidson, aged 39, Janice Virginia Buckingham, aged 44, Marie Keys, aged 44,
each face four charges. Deborah Janet Gillespie, aged 30, faces three
Dr Lyttle said she had also examined two other complainants in the inquiry
and found no signs of sexual abuse.
However, this finding did not refute the contention the children had been
Cross-examined by Mr Gerald Nation for the women defendants, Dr Lyttle said
the loss of the photographs was not the only reason for requesting a
re-examination of the complainant.
She had wanted to review her finding about the irregularity because it had
not been accompanied by scarring, which was normally the case in abuse
Healing of the area could occur without leaving any sign of the injury, she
To questions from Mr Robert Harrison for Ellis, Dr Lyttle said she had
examined about 80 suspected sexual abuse victims since 1988 and had
re-examined one or two.
The hearing, which is now in its ninth week, was adjourned until tomorrow.
Mr Chris Lange yesterday indicated the Crown did not intend to call any more
evidence against the accused. Mr Nation said the women defendants would call
evidence and Mr Harrison said he had yet to make a decision about whether to
Judge Anderson granted counsels' request for a break to allow them to prepare
for the next stage of the proceedings. It was a reasonable request given the
amount of paperwork in the case, he said.